Smith was relieved of his duties after missing the playoffs for 4 of the previous 5 seasons. Urlacher, who suffered through an injury plagued 2012 season and declining performance, was not brought back. Season-ending injuries to defensive tackles Henry Melton and Nate Collins, a trip to IR for Pro Bowl cornerback and defensive lynch pin Charles Tillman and a significant loss of time by defensive captain Lance Briggs left the Bears hobbled and exposed major weaknesses at the safety position.
Second year defensive end Shea McClellin and veteran safeties Major Wright and Chris Conte head the list of disappointing players. They have played a significant role in the defense’s demise. Teams routinely run right at McClellin, who cannot set the edge and maintain containment. Chris Conte has struggled in run support, consistently taking bad angles. To compound matters, teams are scheming to get him in isolation matchups where his best option has been to commit a penalty.
The Bears defense is survived by Virginia McCaskey, loving Matriarch of the franchise, Ted Phillips, team President, General Manager Phil Emery, who must re-stock and reshape the rosters, devoted head coach Marc Trestman and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, who will beleft to pick up the pieces of the shattered group.
Memorial services will be held on Monday night December 9th at Soldier Field, the next Bears home game. A visitation will also be held in Minneapolis on December 1, where Adrian Peterson and the Vikings will pay their respects. The team has requested that in lieu of flowers, that fans send safeties and defensive tackles.
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